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THE WEAPONS OF A PARACHUTE FIELD AMBULANCE
Listed in the "War Establishment" a Parachute Field Ambulance was issued with the following weapons:
123 x Pistols, .45 inch, automatic.
12 x Rifles, .303 inch.
31 x Machine carbines, 9mm, Sten.
PISTOL, .45 INCH, AUTOMATIC
Above: The M1911.
The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge, which served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces for most of the 20th Century.
RIFLE .303 INCH
Above: The Lee-Enfield No. 4.
The Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was the standard rifle of the British Army and Commonwealth from its official adoption in 1895 until 1957.
The No.4, Lee-Enfield rifle, shown above with sling, oil bottle, pull through, 10 x .303 inch rounds in clips and "pigsticker" bayonet & scabbard.
MACHINE CARBINE, 9MM. STEN
Above: The Sten Gun (Mark V).
The Sten gun (or Machine Carbine, 9mm. Sten, to give its official name) was a family of British 9 mm submachine guns used extensively by British forces throughout World War II. They were famous for having a simple design and very low production cost.
The word STEN is an acronym, from the names of the weapon's designers, Major Reginald Shepherd & Harold Turpin, and the EN was short for Enfield. Over 4 million Stens in various versions were made during WW2.
WHY WAS A MEDICAL UNIT ARMED?
All British medical units were issued a limited supply of weapons, which were to be used for defensive purposes only. This was allowed under Article 8 of the Geneva Convention. Having said that many personel during WW2 chose not to carry them, as it was thought that it would make them a target to the enemy.
"Art. 8. The following conditions are not considered to be of such a nature as to deprive a medical formation or establishment of the protection guaranteed by Article 6: 1. That the personnel of the formation or establishment is armed, and that they use the arms in their own defence or in that of the sick and wounded in charge;"